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Hack, Cough, Sniffle…the sounds of Fire and EMS in the Winter

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIeYl5dO40w]

Yesterday I pulled my regularly scheduled tour on the ambulance, very shortly in I discovered it was going to be one of those days where the order of the day was the generalized “sick” people.

Coughing, hacking, sneezing, sniffling, stuffed noses, chest colds, vomiting, there seems to be no end in sight this time of year. Everyone on the shift even seems to have some sort of nagging illness that just will not go away. As a sit here and type me and the wife are playing dueling coughs. After cleaning up some vomit for the second time in only 2 short hours I decided it was time for the ambulance to get a big time interior cleaning. I typically try to do a major decon on the ambulance every time I ride it, but calls sometimes dictate the ability to do so. At minimum I try to give it a good wipe down on the surfaces (handles, action area, seating surfaces) and we decon the stretcher after every run.

While we should be doing this all the time, during this time of the year it is magnified times ten! Usually we are the ones who are healthy and our patients are sick. During this time of year EVERYONE is sick with at least a cold, and we are traveling around in an incubator of disease. Sometimes on the run we even EAT in the ambulance. This means we have to step up our decontamination efforts.

We need to at minimum wipe down the interior surfaces (including the steering wheel, radio mic, siren button etc.) and sweeping and mopping the floor each tour. If you like you can even add some Lysol of other disinfectant spray.

It is fire season, don’t miss the fires that are going on because you are racked out on sick leave from an illness you got on the box. We are the best line of defense for ourselves and family. So take the time to decon the medic and our EMS gear daily, wash your hands, and take showers.

As usual thanks for reading, spread the word, and STAY SAFE!

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